07/09/10 10:28 PM ET
Guthrie not afraid to pitch on inside of plate
By Todd Wills / MLB.com
Guthrie didn't hit any Rangers batters -- Texas pitchers hit two Orioles in the eighth inning, after Guthrie was out of the game. But Guthrie was able to work out of trouble all night, especially after Texas loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. The Rangers led 4-1 at the time, and Guthrie was able to escape the jam without allowing a run.
"As long as I know the plate belongs to both, the pitcher and the hitter," Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel said. "And we all know that a lot of the pitchers that have success have to pitch inside.
"I know a lot of hitters that don't like guys [to] come up in there, but, hey, that plate belongs to both guys and who's going to claim it. We all say that to be able to win and to keep those hitters off stride, you have to pitch both sides of the plate, and we saw some of that with Jeremy."
Orioles being careful with Wieters' hamstring
ARLINGTON -- The Orioles are being extra careful with rookie catcher Matt Wieters, who was back in the lineup Friday night after tightness in his hamstring forced him to sit out Thursday's series opener against Texas.
"The full day off after the plane flight was good," Wieters said. "The hamstring was a little tight throughout the Detroit series."
Interim manager Juan Samuel said he double-checked with Wieters before Friday's game to make sure he was ready to go. The Orioles' prized catcher wasn't even available as a pinch-hitter Thursday night.
"We told him if he feels anything at all, if he felt a little tightness in that game in Detroit, he would have to let us know," Samuel said. "We do not want to take any risk because we know how valuable he is to the organization, and that we do not want to take any risk with the four days off [coming up]. We have to be smart. We told him we're going to be checking with him throughout the game to see how he's doing."
The Orioles want to be careful with Wieters, who has started 70 of the club's 85 games.
Wieters has not started in three of the Orioles' past 13 games after appearing in 14 straight games, and the extra time off has paid dividends. He has 13 hits in his last 37 at-bats (.351 average) with two home runs and five RBIs. He has been putting some extra time in the batting cages with hitting coach Terry Crowley.
"He played a lot earlier in the year, and we feel that probably we needed to give him some rest for him to get his legs back and swing to where it was earlier," Samuel said. "He was working with [Crowley] in the cages a lot. So we've started to see him swing the bat, the way he's capable of swinging it. So we have to make sure we keep him fresh."
Bell likely heading back to Norfolk
ARLINGTON -- Infielder Josh Bell is officially the odd man out as the Orioles promoted pitcher Chris Tillman from Triple-A Norfolk to start Saturday's game.
Bell, who has started four games since being recalled on July 1, entered Friday's game with three hits in 14 at-bats. Interim manager Juan Samuel said Bell is an example of a young player who is better off getting at-bats every day in the Minors. He was batting .266 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs for the Tides when he was called up.
"We wish we could get him more at-bats with the way our club is, with so many guys that play so many different positions," Samuel said. "From what I'm seeing he's held his own. We knew he could play some defense. We just wish we could have gotten him some more at-bats. He's a young guy. And he's one of the prospects that this organization is counting on, and those guys have to play.
"There's no doubt, if we're not able to get it for him, probably the best thing for him and for this organization is to have him go down and play. If that's what the decision is going to be."
Orioles set to face Lee this weekend
ARLINGTON -- The Orioles just happen to have the bad luck of facing new Texas pitcher Cliff Lee on Saturday night after the All-Star was acquired by the Rangers before Friday's game.
Lee was supposed to start for Seattle on Friday night against the New York Yankees. But for the 26-59 Orioles, it's kind of par for the course to draw Lee, who is 8-3 with six walks all season.
"It's something that is a challenge for us," Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel said. "We've been facing good pitching all year. He's just one of those guys that we have to go out there and have a good game against him."
Left fielder Felix Pie was back in the starting lineup Friday after getting hit on the hand by a pitch in the eighth inning Thursday night. Center fielder Adam Jones, who was hit in the ribs, was also fine and started Friday's game. ... The Orioles won for the first time on the road Thursday night after trailing after seven innings. They are now 1-29 in that situation.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.